The title makes it sound stupid, but also potentially kinda fun. Scouts have been the butt of jokes for as long as I can remember, so I thought maybe Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalpyse might surprise with some silly laughs.
Rising star Tye Sheridan (soon to be in another Apocalpyse film, ie, as young Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse), Logan Miller and Joey Morgan are Ben, Carter and Augie, three high schoolers who grew up as scouts and are still part of a scout group. Naturally, there is a zombie outbreak, and these three resourceful young men are caught in the middle of it. The two main supporting characters are a strip bar waitress (Sarah Dumont) and their Scout Leader (the always welcome David Koechner). Teen starlet Halston Sage and Arnie’s son, Patrick, also have small roles.
The film is billed as a horror comedy, but there’s not much to be afraid of. All the blood and guts are comical and the tongue is always firmly in the cheek. The jokes, on the other hand, are nearly all juvenile, sophomoric gags, often related to stupidity or sex or random wackiness. It’s American Pie meets The Walking Dead.
In all honesty, I did laugh out loud a few times. If we’re talking the six-laugh test for a good comedy, I’m sure I came pretty close. There were a good deal of misses and occasions where I was like, “good try, but no,” though some of the hits turned out better than I expected.
The real problem with Scouts Guide is that it is awfully generic and doesn’t do much to take advantage of its intriguing premise. The fact that the three protagonists are scouts isn’t utilised nearly enough — take out a couple of gags and they really could have just been the guys from Superbad or any other teen flick. It’s almost as though they simply wanted to make a teen zombie comedy and threw in the scouts angle to try to distinguish itself from the market, rather than build the film around this premise.
As such, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse feels like the waste of a good opportunity. Most normal adult moviegoers will probably find it too moronic to even give it a try, but if you’re in the mood for some breezy silliness you could get a few laughs out of it. As far as zombie comedies go, it’s a far weaker effort than Leigh Whannell’s Cooties.
2.75 stars out of 5